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Ikea’s genius is that they have so many items that look useful but you’re not sure for exactly what yet. Because they are only $2.99 or $5.99 or $8.99, they are cheap enough to buy, in multiples, and put in the Someday I’ll Be Really Happy that I Bought All This Crap box. This simple aluminum wine rack ($8.99) was in that box and I finally attached it to the ceiling in the pantry (the only place there’s room for it). We are not wine aficionados (economy-sized bottles are more our speed), so there was just one regular-sized bottle on hand. I showed Captain OCD the rack, with three of the four holes empty, when he got home and he loved it. So much so that he wanted me to buy three or four more (Ikea is a most-of-the-day trip from here). We don’t really have a need for that sort of stockpile of regular-sized bottles of wine. Then he went down to Fred’s (the store on the corner – I’m not sure what its real name is, but it’s been in Fred’s family for about 400 years) for milk or charcoal or marshmallows three years past their sell-by date and came back with three more bottles of wine. Because we can’t have empty holes. And he was still excited for me to buy more wine racks. I envisioned a never-ending quest to keep the wine rack full: The wine in the racks would be off-limits and he would instead drive down to Fred’s to buy whatever was required for the current situation. If we were to use a bottle, in, say, an emergency, he’d be at Fred’s at dawn the next morning to buy a bottle to fill the void. Which means he’d buy extra bottles to have on hand so he could instantly fill the holes, which kind of defeats the purpose of a wine rack if you also have wine bottles taking up room on the shelf. He would be constantly opening the pantry door to make sure there were no empty wine-rack holes and would have forgotten that, until I’d installed the wine racks, we’d lived happily for decades on the pay-as-you-go plan and had no stockpile of wine at all.

I relented and bought one more rack the next time I was at Ikea (it’s only $8.99!). Another immediate trip to Fred’s so that the contents of the pantry weren’t sucked into the vortex created by the empty holes in the wine rack. But we discovered a problem: most of the Chardonnay (The People’s Wine) bottles are ever so slightly bigger around and they don’t fit unless you force them, which tears the labels and makes a horrible noise as the glass scrapes against the aluminum. Even worse, they make the same noise when removing them. So the other day I put the offenders in backwards so that they were just barely secured (but I wouldn’t walk under them when the washer is spinning in the next room). Not quite as aesthetically pleasing (although still the most pleasing thing in the pantry, by light years), but it works. And I didn’t mention the reorientation of the bottles.

This morning I see one of the scraped-up-label bottles in the fridge. Did I forget that we were having guests tonight, guests for whom we’d break out the one-step-above-cheap wine? Why would this bottle be taking up valuable refrigerator real estate when there’s already an opened big bottle in there? And if that bottle is in the fridge, then there is a hole in the pantry, and I know that’s not possible. A quick inspection revealed that someone has discovered that Pinot Grigio bottles fit just fine. If you want white wine not from a jug when you’re here, that’s what you’re getting. Unless Captain OCD is home, in which case you can have whatever you like because he’ll be going to Fred’s to buy it.